Roku today announced that at long last — finally, even! — that its TVs and Roku Players now are officially Alexa-enabled. That's been a major miss for Roku in recent years as it's grown in popularity. Now? All you need is to hook up the Alexa Skill.
So what can you do with your Roku via Alexa? You can launch a channel, play and pause shows, or search for various content across the Roku ecosystem. You also can mute your TV, change inputs and even change channels if you've got an over-the-air antenna hooked up to a Roku TV.
To do any of this you'll need an Amazon Echo device, of course — the diminutive Echo Dot runs $50 when it's not on sale — and you'll need a Roku device running OS 8.1 or later. Then you'll just hook your Roku account to your Amazon account via the Alexa Skill, and you're on your way.
Roku Devices Can Now Interact with Amazon Alexa
LOS GATOS, Calif. – March 5, 2019 – Roku, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROKU) today announced that Roku devices are now compatible with Amazon Alexa-enabled devices through the new Roku skill for Alexa. Roku® streaming player and Roku TV™ owners in the US can now control their Roku devices using Alexa. The new voice control compatibility further expands the flexibility and choice for how consumers control their Roku devices and get to their entertainment quickly.
"Consumers often have multiple voice ecosystems in their homes. By allowing our customers to choose Alexa, in addition to Roku voice search and controls, and other popular voice assistants; we are strengthening the value Roku offers as a neutral platform in home entertainment," said Ilya Asnis, senior vice president of Roku OS at Roku. "Roku customers can get to the entertainment they love faster so they can enjoy more of it."
Roku users with Alexa-enabled devices – including Amazon Echo, Echo Show, Echo Dot, Echo Spot and Echo Plus – can pause a show, launch a streaming channel and search for entertainment by simply saying things like, "Alexa, find comedies on Roku", "Alexa, pause Roku" or "Alexa, open Hulu on Roku." Additionally, Roku TV users can turn on the TV, change the volume, mute the TV, switch inputs and change channels if there is an OTA antenna connected by saying, "Alexa, turn on Roku" or "Alexa, turn up the volume on Roku."
Customers can control Roku devices running Roku OS 8.1 or greater using their Alexa-enabled devices. To get started open the Alexa app, go to settings and select TV & Video. Next, enable the Roku skill and link your account.
The Roku OS offers access to 500,000+ movies and TV episodes via thousands of free or paid channels. Consumers can search across hundreds of channels and see results in order by price, including what's playing live if there is an HDTV antenna attached The Roku Channel offers 10,000+ free ad-supported movies and TV episodes. Currently an update is rolling out to The Roku Channel where customers can browse, trial and subscribe to Premium Subscriptions from popular services such as EPIX, SHOWTIME® and STARZ. Free content is also easy to find with Featured Free as it provides users with direct links to free in-season episodes from top network shows and full past-season catch-ups.
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